Orange County North Carolina
Orange County North Carolina
The county was formed in 1752 from parts of Bladen County, Granville County, and Johnston County. It was named for the infant William V of Orange, whose mother Anne, daughter of King George II of Great Britain, was then regent of the Dutch Republic.
In 1771, Orange County was greatly reduced in area. The western part of it was combined with the eastern part of Rowan County to form Guilford County. Another part was combined with parts of Cumberland County and Johnston County to form Wake County. The southern part of what remained became Chatham County.
In 1777, the northern half of what was left of Orange County became Caswell County. In 1849, the western third of the still-shrinking county became Alamance County. Finally, in 1881, the eastern half of the county’s remaining territory was combined with part of Wake County to form Durham County.
Some of the first settlers of the county were English Quakers, who settled along the Haw and Eno Rivers. Arguably, the earliest settlers in the county were the Andrews family, which would later marry into the Lloydfamily.
Colonial period and Revolutionary War
The Orange County county seat of Hillsborough was founded in 1754 on land where the Great Indian Trading Path crossed the Eno River and was first owned, surveyed, and mapped by William Churton (a surveyor for Earl Granville). Originally to be named Orange, it was named Corbin Town (for Francis Corbin, a member of the governor’s council and one of Granville’s land agents), and renamed Childsburgh (in honor of Thomas Child, the attorney general for North Carolina from 1751–1760 and another one of Granville’s land agents) in 1759. It was not until 1766 that it was named Hillsborough, after the Earl of Hillsborough, the British secretary of state for the colonies and a relative of royal Governor William Tryon.
Hillsborough was an earlier Piedmont colonial town where court was held, and was the scene of some pre-Revolutionary War tensions. In the late 1760s, tensions between Piedmont farmers and county officers welled up in the Regulator movement or, as it was known, the War of the Regulation, which had its epicenter in Hillsborough. Several thousand people from North Carolina, mainly from Orange County, Anson County, and Granville County in the western region, were extremely dissatisfied with the wealthy North Carolina officials whom they considered cruel, arbitrary, tyrannical and corrupt. With specie scarce, many inland farmers found themselves unable to pay their taxesand resented the consequent seizure of their property. Local sheriffs sometimes kept taxes for their own gain and sometimes charged twice for the same tax. At times, sheriffs would intentionally remove records of their tax collection in order to further tax citizens. The most heavily affected areas were said to be that of Rowan, Anson, Orange, Granville, and Cumberland counties. It was a struggle of mostly lower class citizens, who made up the majority of the population of North Carolina, and the wealthy ruling class, who composed about 5% of the population, yet maintained almost total control of the government. It is estimated that out of the 8,000 people living in Orange County at the time, some six or seven thousand of them were in support of the Regulators. Orange County North Carolina
Governor William Tryon‘s conspicuous consumption in the construction of a new governor’s mansion at New Bern fuelled the movement’s resentment. As the western districts were under-represented in the colonial legislature, it was difficult for the farmers to obtain redress by legislative means. Ultimately, the frustrated farmers took to arms and closed the court in Hillsborough, dragging those they saw as corrupt officials through the streets and cracking the church bell. Tryon sent troops from his militia to the region and defeated the Regulators at the Battle of Alamance in May 1771. Several trials were held after the war, resulting in the hanging of six Regulators at Hillsborough on June 19, 1771. Orange County North Carolina.